Outcome Mapping: A realistic alternative for planning, monitoring and evaluation

Working and discussion papers
October 2009
Harry Jones and Simon Hearn

Outcome Mapping (OM) is an approach to planning, monitoring, and evaluating social change initiatives developed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada. At a practical level, OM is a set of tools and guidelines that steer project or programme teams through an iterative process to identify their desired change and to work collaboratively to bring it about.

This paper reviews OM principles to guide donors considering support for projects using OM, and other decision-makers seeking methods to improve the effectiveness of aid policies and practice. It asks:

  1. What makes OM unique and of value?
  2. For which programmes, projects, contexts and change processes is it most useful?
  3. How can donors facilitate its use, and what are the potential barriers?

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